Gemma Merna is inspired by Sarah Jessica Parker's style.

The 'Hollyoaks' actress - who recently announced her departure from the Channel 4 soap after 8 years playing the ditsy beautician Carmel McQueen - loves the 'Sex and the City' star's ''effortlessly ladylike'' dress sense.

Speaking about her style icons, Gemma told BANG Showbiz: ''Sarah Jessica Parker is one of my favourites. Victoria Beckham, you know. They're just fantastic; very ladylike, but effortless as well.''

Gemma, 30 - who is an acting ambassador for Genes for Jeans Day this year - thinks it's important for both men and women to choose comfort over style if they want to enjoy a night out.

She explained: ''Always feel comfortable in what you wear. I've made that mistake a few times, where I can't move in a dress, so you can't really enjoy the night. If you feel comfortable, it shows.

''I think men, it's like not trying too hard, you know, just wearing something they feel comfortable in. Look smart; nothing too scruffy. I think men have to bring their own personality in their clothes.''

The pretty blonde will be slipping into a pair of comfy jeans next Friday (19.09.14) for the national fundraiser in aid of children born with genetic disorders.

Gemma said: ''I think it's a very important charity that you need to support, and this previous year they've got the support of a lot of celebrities. It's a fantastic cause, really just to get it out there.

''1 in 25 children are born with a genetic disorder. I think people aren't aware of this, and it's just about supporting it. They're having their fundraising day on the 19th of September, so everybody can wear their comfy jeans, and it's just kind of, puts it out there that this is to support the genetic disorder.

''Everyone go online and donate, or wear your comfy jeans -that gets you a free fundraising kit online, as well.''

Gemma is supporting Jeans for Genes Day 2014 which will be held on Friday 19 September. Please sign-up and order a free fundraising kit at or call 0800 980 4800.